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While Taxpayers Pick Up the Tab, Fortune 500s Stash $2.1 Trillion in Offshore Havens


#1

While Taxpayers Pick Up the Tab, Fortune 500s Stash $2.1 Trillion in Offshore Havens

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

America's Fortune 500 companies are "playing by different rules" when it comes to the federal tax system and, according to a new report out Tuesday, are stashing $2.1 trillion in offshore tax havens—with as much as $620 billion owed to the U.S. taxpayers who are left footing the bill.

The report, Offshore Shell Games 2015: The Use of Offshore Tax Havens by Fortune 500 Companies (pdf), examines the accounting tricks that have enabled the country's most profitable companies to hide their earnings.


#3

while obviously it would be just to have this money returned to the US, we can't make the assumption that it would necessarily be put to good use. This is why I don't get caught up in tax reform or anything else that might increase the revenue flow to government. After al, since most of our discretionary spending is on the military, that's probably where the bulk of this 620 billion would go.

Policy first, tax collection second.


#4

When will the American masses finally wake up and realize they have lost what is called their democracy and live in a corportocracy that is of the oligarchs; by the oligarchs; and for the oligarchs! And the majority of Congress and the President are nothing but corporate soldiers for the corportocracy.

In 1776 the cry was " taxation without representation" and now it is even worse!


#5

Does the super-secret TPP force corporations to pay their fair share? I didn't think so. Will Congress or the Prez submit any legislation or policies to end corporations and the uber-wealthy from stashing trillions? I didn't think so. For every dollar the super-rich and corporations evade giving-back to the society that makes their "success" possible, (and tolerates their destructive greed), a dollar must come out of the pockets of average guys and gals and families, those least able to afford more taxation (whether called that or some euphemism, like "fees", or increased tolls, or property taxes) are forced to support the self-interest, greed and obscene life-styles of the 1%.

Big-money has bought politicians, candidates, elections, and ultimately legislation. The trend continues to buy judges from local to SCOTUS to protect organized greed and profits above all-else. Both parties cater to this systematic theft and increasing evasion of giving-back to society - profits are the goal and ANY obscenity, regardless how destructive or oppressive is employed to secure and protect continued wage and interest slavery of the 99%.

Required reading.


#6

"The repeated failure by U.S. lawmakers to crack down on tax avoidance schemes has enabled a significant loss in U.S. tax income, the report notes."

Big Money always finds a way around paying taxes and avoiding regulations. That's a fact. Trying to make them pay their share of taxes always fails.

We can find other ways to make Big Money pay their fair share. Hoping that a politician or two will refuse their bribes puts the onus on the politician, not on their corruptors. And the oligarchy's media easily destroys such politicians.

We can point out what is happening, but is that enough? Were are the solutions? Are we going to leave all of this up to Bernie to fix? Seems impossible.

Encrypted "Uber Voting" is one solution to greatly increasing voter turnout, the basis of a democracy.


#7

Well, they actually do create jobs--overseas. Total non cooperation now as the game plan is to have people work themselves to death or die young in their wars of choice for profit.


#8

I think you have it exactly backwards. Your assumption is reasonable, but it is only an assumption.


#9

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#10

The masses will not wake up but in our state we the people are writing self government ordinances that say no to industrial projects that effect local communities. As all power is inherent in the people we can do this but not without the sleeping masses. We are taking the education to them. As things get worse we will get more on board to clean this shit up. No more.


#12

Waking up the ignorant and ill-informed is no easy task. They will have to be dragged kicking and screaming from their TV's and smart-phones and ball games.

Maybe, just maybe, if they "were told that a panel of three international trade lawyers would be reviewing all new laws and determining, in secret, which ones passed muster by meeting with the approval of their giant corporate clients, would they react differently?" - (or act at all?)

"That is effectively what all of these corporate rights treaties establish: extra-judicial rulings whose objective is to protect the profits against laws passed in the public interest. The clauses that allow such suits are referred to as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). This is not hyperbole -- that is the actual, stated objective of ISDS: if a new law affects the expected future profits of a foreign owned company, it can sue the federal government for damages. And the decision is made by a panel of trade lawyers whose bias is, naturally, in favour of facilitating corporate interests -- because that is who they normally work for. They aren't environmental lawyers or labour lawyers or human rights lawyers. They're trade lawyers. Foxes judging the right of other foxes to kill chickens."
From: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/05/29/Free-Trade-Puts-Profit-Over-Public/

Since I have little faith that "the people", en masse, will recognize they are being sold a pig-in-a-poke, lied-to, their children forced into economic and financial slavery, and only the wealthiest will really benefit, I doubt much will change - the foxes will continue to kill the chickens at will.......and the chickens will continue to tune in to the latest celebrity scandal and diversion of the moment....


#13

Well, if my assumption is reasonable, then how can it be exactly backwards?
If you're suggesting that the focus should be on collection first--let's make the State rich! woo hoo!--and then we should start arguing where to spend it, I fail to see how that's the better argument.

Having taxes in your coffers has zero effect on the spending priorities of a nation that can print its own currency at will. It's ultimately only a matter of justice, not fiscal necessity.


#16

An assumption is just that-an assumption. It is not a fact, just a matter of opinion. My opinion, but not an assumption in this case, is that you've got your priorities backwards. If you have trouble with that-fine.I also have no trouble with the idea of making the state "rich"-that is, allowing the state to collect the taxes that are due to it. Once that little problem is taken care of, then we can concern ourselves with how that tax money is spent. Up until recently, the state was able to afford both guns and butter. Now it claims it can't, in part because the only priority both parties seem to agree on is military spending, They'd like to cut everything else. Woo woo.And yes-I agree. We should all go back to Spanish pieces of eight.It's a matter of justice.


#17

This from Bloomberg News in June of this year: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-17/wal-mart-has-76-billion-in-overseas-tax-havens-report-says

About WalMart hiding $76 billion in overseas tax havens.

Just the tip of the iceberg....

Too much is never enough for these brigands and thieves.


#18

Thanks for your reply, maybe some good news, for a change!


#19

Thanks for the link. Sagacious reply.


#20

An outstanding book about offshore accounts is:
Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens (September 4, 2012) by Nicholas Shaxson (Author)

A synopsis of the book can be viewed here:

Extremely well-written and very informative. I saw the book and author interviewed on CSPAN Book TV in 2012 and had to read it. What Shaxson reveals is astounding!


#21

Let's be realistic. Congress is not going to bite the hand that feeds it. Our Legislative branch of government is owned by the corporate state. It will take a significant revolution to stem the tide of corporate power. Hopefully one day there will be an information tipping point and the public will be motivated to get active. Articles like this help educate those that do not understand the impact of gross inequality between the powerful few and the masses.


#24

lol lol We all know it's those horrible welfare moms that are taking away hardworking Americans tax money


#26

Huh? Don't bother, I'm sure it'll be over my little head.


#27

This just gets weirder. Okay, last word on my part, and then feel free to do weird things. I made a fairly simple argument that just because taxes get collected doesn't mean that they get spent in the ways we'd like. Is that especially controversial? Do you find this an outrageous statement?

So, if you give people money who want to spend it on weapons, giving them more might lead to more weapons spending with that new windfall?

I think you might have picked that up, but honestly I'm not sure. Now I get your position is sort of "value neutral", meaning you don't really care about the priorities at the moment, you care about the size of the pot (Edit: "first" should be here as well) . Am I understanding that correctly? It reads that way to me.

So if we're sort of agreed at this point, and I think we are, it comes down to how the size of the pot affects the spending. My original point was that it doesn't matter, because we deficit spend. The US has that luxury at the moment. So this money that's owed isn't fiscally important strictly speaking. Does that make sense so far? It's important to us mostly on principle: none of us (except the right wingers) like corporations dodging their tax bills and sticking us (presumably) with their share and so we want the buggers to pay up.

I agree that they should. But I'm also saying that the real struggle here is over the values of the budget, not the pot itself. A lot of liberal reform arguments revolve around tax fairness and just collection, which is fine in and of itself. Butwe too often make the assumption--as this author did and hundreds before them--that having the money means that we're going to get more social spending.

Empirically it does not. And it doesn't because if they wanted to spend on social programs, they could do it now the same way they fund anything else. So I was implying that we need to focus more on changing the values of power than on worrying too much about tax collection. Not exactly a ragingly controversial manifesto, is it?

Anyhoo, I'm done. This thread was bizarre, especially with Jimboz helpful LSD fueled addition.